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Decomposers | Activity 4.1

Activity 4.1: Molecular Models for Fungi Moving and Functioning: Cellular Respiration (40 min)

Students model the oxidation of glucose (CgH12O6) to carbon dioxide and water using molecular model kits. They describe this chemical change in two ways: molecular models, and a chemical equation.

Materials You Provide

Resources Provided


Prepare one model kit, one Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat, one pair of scissors, and one Forms of Energy Cards for each pair of students. Print one copy of the 4.1 Molecular Models for Fungi Cellular Respiration Worksheet for each pair of students. Prepare a computer and a projector to display the PPT. Print a copy of 4.1 Cellular Respiration Handout for each student if you choose to use this optional reading. Retrieve the materials from Activity 3.3. This may include PPT slides from the lesson in which you typed students’ unanswered questions or a photograph of their unanswered questions. Print and hang the Decomposer 11 x 17 Poster, Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemat, and Three Ways to Represent Glucose 11 x 17 Poster .


1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.


Listen for the students’ sense of necessity to make sure that atoms last forever during chemical changes. Asking them about the “atoms are forever” rule during the molecular modeling and animation may give you a sense of how committed they are to conserving matter.


  • Laminate the Molecular Models 11 x 17 Placemats. These will be used multiple times in each unit.
  • During the molecular modeling activity and animation, focus on how matter and energy are conserved through the chemical change. This is the main goal of the activity!


Use the 4.1 Cellular Respiration Handout as a class reading to provide students with another opportunity to consider the chemical change after they complete the modeling.